Nietzsche on Women

I am currently engrossed in William L. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. It is a superbly well-written — and chilling — history of one of illiberalism’s purest expressions.

Nietzsche, the unthinking man’s favorite philosopher, had a large influence on Hitler’s thought. He contributed, among other things, to the National Socialists’ less-than-enlightened views on women. Discussing that influence in a footnote on page 100, Shirer gives two Nietzsche quotes worth repeating:

Men shall be trained for war and woman for the procreation of the warrior. All else is folly.

And, from Thus Spake Zarathustra:

Thou goest to woman? Do not forget thy whip!

Bertrand Russell, ever sharp of tongue, and knowing of Nietzsche’s lifelong aversion to the fairer sex, rebutted on p. 730 of his History of Western Philosophy:

[N]ine women out of ten would get the whip away from him, and he knew it, so he kept away from women, and soothed his vanity with unkind remarks.

Game, set, match.

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